When you’re trying to cook a quick dinner with not too many unusual ingredients — most of the time, in other words — some small touches can take something that would otherwise taste thrown together and turn it into something that tastes more thoughtful, more interesting and ultimately more satisfying.
Take a dish of lentils, mushrooms and kale. Sounds hearty, nutritious and simple, yes? Maybe a touch boring, too. But then you employ a few smart extra steps. You brown some butter before cooking onions in it, giving a nutty flavor to the whole shebang. You sear the chopped mushrooms so thoroughly that they get caramelized, almost burned, adding even more depth. Finally, you judiciously employ a little cream, less than you might think (just
The crowning touch, if you’d like: a sunny-side-up egg.
The idea comes from Ashley Rodriguez’s new book, “Date Night In.” As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s a lesson that could apply as effectively to relationship maintenance as to cooking. Pay attention to the little things, and they just might add up to something bigger.